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Gualala River in Winter – Photo Calendar

Winter rains fall on the vast watershed of the Gualala River. When the land can no longer absorb more water, the rain flows into the tributaries of the Gualala River. The river changes daily. Big storms brings churning waters down the river, racing to the ocean. The river’s floodplain, unencumbered by development, does the job which Mother Nature designed. Redwood trees and other plants in the floodplain help catch sediment, cleaning the river.

Between storms, the river calms down and the flood waters recede. Steelhead can be seen entering the river to spawn. Harbor seals stationed at the estuary mouth try to catch them, but the steelhead are wily and strong. Bald eagles have been seen trying to catch fish too. Common mergansers paddle the river, and brown pelicans and gulls often are seen bathing in the estuary.

Even though it’s winter, in February the plants alongside the river are budding out. Surely spring can’t be too far away.

Deer reflected in the Gualala River - by Rick Denniston
Deer reflected in the Gualala River – by Rick Denniston

 

Even though its winter, the Gualala River Estuary is in Bud, by Robert Scarola
Even though it’s winter, the Gualala River Estuary is in Bud, by Robert Scarola

 

A female Common Merganser talking and paddling on the Gualala River - by Bryant Hichwa
A female Common Merganser talking and paddling on the Gualala River – by Bryant Hichwa

 

Brown Pelicans coming in for a landing in the Gualala River - by Steve Coffey-Smith
Brown Pelicans coming in for a landing in the Gualala River – by Steve Coffey-Smith

 

Gualala River greening up. It's called Steelhead green. - by Jeanne Jackson
Gualala River greening up. It’s called Steelhead green. – by Jeanne Jackson

 

Harbor Seals hauled out on the sandbar of the Gualala River - by Jeanne Jackson
Harbor Seals hauled out on the sandbar of the Gualala River – by Jeanne Jackson

 

High surf flows over the sandbar of the Gualala River - by Rozann Grunig
High surf flows over the sandbar of the Gualala River – by Rozann Grunig

 

Icy morning leaves alongside the Gualala River - by Bryant Hichwa
Icy morning leaves alongside the Gualala River – by Bryant Hichwa

 

Steelhead spawning in the Gualala River - by Paul Batchelder
Steelhead spawning in the Gualala River – by Paul Batchelder

 

The Gualala River at dusk - by Craig Tooley
The Gualala River at dusk – by Craig Tooley

 

The Gulls were disturbed by the King Tides - by Jeanne Jackson
The Gulls were disturbed by the King Tides – by Jeanne Jackson

 

The raging Wheatfield Fork of the Gualala River after winter storms - by Peter Cracknell
The raging Wheatfield Fork of the Gualala River after winter storms – by Peter Cracknell

 

Two adult Bald Eagles at the Gualala River - by Ken Bailey
Two adult Bald Eagles at the Gualala River – by Ken Bailey

 

Where the Gualala River and the Pacific Ocean meet - by Bob Rutemoeller
Where the Gualala River and the Pacific Ocean meet – by Bob Rutemoeller